When people think of New York City they tend to associate it with the city's more positive aspects, however, nearly 1 in 3 children here are living in poverty. A family of four that makes an income of $24,000 or less is considered to be in poverty. This obviously has a negative effect on the children living in these households which leads to some ghastly statistics. On a daily basis in New York City, 1 in 4 kids go to bed hungry, 20 kids are arrested, and 55 teenage girls become pregnant.
There are many organizations that are playing their part to help mitigate this problem but they are not all equal in impact. That’s where Youth INC comes in. Youth INC, is a nonprofit based in New York City with a mission to improve the lives of youth through a unique venture philanthropy model that empowers, develops, and educates nonprofit organizations serving young people. Youth INC identifies and partners with over 60 of the most effective nonprofits, which impacts 300,000 youth in NYC annually.
Every year, Youth INC's Young Professionals Board hosts a casino night to raise critical funds for their capacity building programs. On this evening, professionals from across the city put bring their casino skills to the test and enjoy a premiere silent auction, cocktails, networking.
All proceeds from the event help Youth INC. break the cycle of poverty and positively impact thousands of NYC children. This year, Youth INC.’s 8th Annual Chips for Change Casino Night hosted by the Young Professionals Board took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Yale Club of New York City on May 13th.
I was fortunate to be a part of the casino night had a blast. When I arrived at the Yale Club ballroom, I was greeted right away by Brandon Espinosa, Associate Director of Development at Youth INC. We chatted about the program and he ensured me that Youth INC is an incredible organization tackling and improving the business layer of the nonprofits in their partner network.
After a few glasses of Prosecco and light bites, I wandered to the Blackjack table. All guests were given $20 dollars in complimentary chips with the option to re-buy with cash. I put $100 in chips on a blackjack table and lost it in the first hand. House always wins.
With the other $100 in chips I decided to try my luck against people at the Hold em table. After about half an hour, my measly $100 dollars had grown to $400 in chips!.
You can see me actually winning a hand in the picture above. However, as usual, luck never lasts, and a- few hands later I was left without chips. Afterwards I just walked around and met some really interesting people and just enjoyed the night.
At the end of the night the event raised $100,000, which will help support Youth INC's programs. I am honored and grateful to have been a part of this celebration. It was overall a great event with beautiful people coming together for a wonderful cause.
Special Thanks Brandon Espinosa and Youth INC